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Highlights from Planting Summit 09

February 6, 2009

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So here is a bit of a summary of some key highlights from the SUMMIT that may be helpful to you….

1. Tom Nebel’s “8 Environmental Risks” to a church plant. Tom has a tremendous grasp of the issues that can tank a plant and that are often not weighted carefully. Contact the Regional office if you would like a copy of the assessment tool.

2. Some great web sites for resources including… http://www.chruchleaderinsights.com http://www.servantevangelism.com http://www.garyrohrmayer.com or http://www.yourjourney.org all worth a look regularly.

3. Andre Daley and Dave Kools presentation on community development. Key concept….outreach is out, withreach is in. Get “with” it! Andre and Dave will be hosting a full day on community development JUNE 15th stay tuned for details.

4.  Preparing to Parent Qualitative Assessment….a usable tool to explore the presence of key values predictive of a parenting congregation.   Contact the Region for a copy.

5. Stats….130 in attendance, 6 churches represented who have never daughtered and were present with 3 or more people exploring, 45 planters and spouses, great late night movie run to see Clint Eastwood one more time!, many new relationships and some great old ones too!

thanks to everyone who made this experience a hit!

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HEART CHECK….soul care for church planters.

January 20, 2009

Your heart matters more than anything else….take out your concordance and check it out. It would be a great error to throw your energy into planting a church at the expense of, or to the neglect of, your heart for God.

Here are some key diagnostic questions relative to your heart.

1. What thoughts do you ruminate on?….Matt.15:19

2. What are you likely to talk about when you are under stress? “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”

3. How often does your ministry (or otherwise) cause you to complain? I Thess 5:18

4. Are you generally at peace with your life? Ephesians 4:31-32

5. Is worship attractive to you even when you are not leading? Ephesians 5:18

6. Are you a content person? Philippians 4:1-13

7. Do you feed on scripture even if you are not preaching on it? Psalm 119

8. Have you demonstrated humility recently? James 4:6

9. What commitment have you made to holiness? II Tim. 2

10. Are you “all in” for Jesus? II Chronicles 16:9

Heart disease is caused by unresolved wounds (Matt.18) or failure to recall God’s goodness (Mk. 6). Church planters…leaders…are wise to pay attention to their cardio condition!

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RECENT RESEARCH ON GIVING…& what to do about it.

December 9, 2008

Passing the Plate is the title of a recent book released by Oxford University Press that looks closely at religious giving in North America today. Very interesting….and alarming. I am tired of being alarmed…but here goes.

1. If protestant Americans who were able to give 10% did so….and we allow for those who can give nothing as well as for those who already give more than 10%….the church would experience a windfall of over 80 billion dollars.

2. While a few givers make major contributions, the biggest givers as a percentage of income, are the lowest income earners. The widows mite still speaks loudly! Those earning 10k or less gave 2.3% of their income while those earning 70k give only 1.2%.

3. Only about 3% of the money donated to churches actually serves non-christian needs. We tend to give to serve ourselves. If churches took a more outward focus and put their money into those efforts we may see a very different attitude toward the plate.

4. Many people do not give because they are not asked to directly by their leaders. Pastors may themselves be guilty of not giving and so are reluctant to preach on it. Meanwhile, the deep value of stewardship training goes neglected.

5. Giving habits are well served by financial training and coaching. While many view spontaneous giving as spiritual, the better approach is to encourage a disciplined, routine and planned approach.

For more on this see the recent Christianity Today cover article.

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$500.00 GRANTS FOR 2009!

November 24, 2008

Saturday I sat with a hand full of senior men who represent a little known group….Christian Men Supporting Church Planting.   They have existed since the mid 1940’s for the purpose of supporting new church starts through prayer and finances.  We met to exchange a check that will be disbursed in grants to planters.

Here is how to receive your $500.00 (one per new church in the Great Lakes Region).

1.  Register for the Regional Planters Summit at Camp Geneva contact steitsma@rcagl.org by January 9

2.  Draft a one page or paragraph proposal of how you will use the grant with a simple budget.   Need not be long but needs to be a new outreach effort with general costs.

3.  Submit the following data before January 9 to steitsma@rcagl.org :

a.  Number of adult baptisms in the history of your plant

b. Number of professions of faith in the history of your plant

c. Average worship attendance.

I hope I can write a check for your plant!

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GREAT LAKES PLANTING SUMMIT January 25-27

November 14, 2008

By now you have probably picked up on the upcoming planter connection in January.   Here are some details:

Location….Camp Geneva

Cost….Free…yes, you read that correctly and that is no reflection on the quality!

Child care….still working on that but likely for infants

Weather….Cold

Atmosphere….Warm

Presenters….Tom Nebel and Gary Rohrmayer.    So here is the skinny on these two guys….

Together Tom and Gary are authors of perhaps the most popular church planting book Church Planting Landmines.   Bring your copy for an autograph and then sell it on the black market to finance your upcoming budget shortfall!   They are also leaders of a worldwide planting movement called CONVERGE WORLDWIDE.   They are authors of over 5 planting books….have degrees from Fuller and other esteemed institutions that take your money….have worked up close with 100’s of church plants across the USA and, perhaps most importantly have first had experience in planting when they were rookies wet behind the ears.   In fact, rumor has it that Tom was the first church planter from Gary’s parent church in Wisconsin and that Gary’s church voted to pay him $50.00 per week as a show of their generous support.  Gulp.  Needless to say, since then they have barely tolerated one another.  But we paid them enough to come together for our retreat to pour some of their quirky humor and wisdom into us.  It’ll be fun.

You should have gotten an electronic brochure by now….but if not, email steitsma@rcagl.org and we will get that out…and then RSVP to the same person who will not take any money from you.   Really!   This event is free!

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ANDRE, HUGO AND RICH are ROCKIN.

November 4, 2008

The weekend was a bumper yield in the planter movement.

Mosaic Life celebrated the 4th year together with an announced vision to add a new worship venue and develop a second congregation several miles from their East town location into downtown GR. Andre Daley is setting the leadership teams and has anchored the location. Mosaic could have moved from East town to a larger space but the local business leaders begged otherwise. Very cool…Mosaic has developed a stellar reputation in the community! So they multiply….! Go get em Andre.

Meanwhile, Hugo Vasquez has been planting Alas de Aguila in Holland for the last 2 years and is now seeking to add a second congregation in Wyoming MI to reach growing Hispanic numbers there. The second service will seed a new congregation that will eventually call a pastor and move ahead. Go get em Hugo!

And then there is the case of Rich Reinstra. Two years ago Rich began the process with the Department of Corrections in Michigan to set an unprecedented mark in planting a prison congregation. Last night 40 men gathered for their launch service. Inmates led the praise team….inmates led the prayers and confession of faith….inmates demonstrated their ownership and Rich spoke the Word. We all watched in wonder as a remarkable new church was born….forerunner to dozens more we hope! Go get em Rich.

It is a very good time to be in the planting game!

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Lewin Force Field Analysis

October 22, 2008

What are the inhibiting and enhancing factors in your plant?

If it’s time to look at your progress in planting you may be helped by an exercise that gives insight. The Lewin force field analysis can be helpful. Start by listing all the factors that enhance your ministry. Give them weight…say 1-5. Then list the factors that inhibit your ministry and weight them. Understand that your ministry is perfectly calibrated to give you exactly what you are getting (from a human perspective). Your work is to either reduce your inhibitors or increase your enhancements. If that takes place you will move the force field ahead.

The key with the Lewin analysis exercise is to do this in a group environment with your ministry leaders. This can accelerate buy in and appreciation for the inhibitors and enhancers that you deal with on a daily basis. As the group gains insight, you create alignment around diagnosis and strategic next steps. It helps you move everyone forward together toward a solution.

Status quo is never a good time for a planter. Try this tool next time you are with your oversight or ministry team.